Why do we love January in Sydney? Well, there’s the cricket of course, but leaving that aside for a moment, January is the time when Sydney goes all cultural.
The Sydney Festival has been held since 1977, and attracts the very best the world has to offer in terms of performance and visual arts. This year, 134 events make up the program.
These will be held across 51 venues over 24 days, and will include music, theatre, dance, circus, visual arts, installations, talks, language classes, and free and family events.
Festival Director Wesley Enoch claims, “(At the Sydney Festival), you will find celebrations and provocations in equal measure… global discussions on conservation and consumption, equality, adventure, new technologies and artistic excellence through a range of cultural explorations and platforms”.
We have no doubt about that, and are waiting to see which of the experiences this year will go on to become those we will talk about for a very long time.
No Indian presentation made the cut this year, although dancer-choreographer and local boy Raghav Handa will be bringing his brand of experimental dance in You Animal, You.
Indian Link’s Top Ten Picks
Tree of Codes A unique contemporary ballet collaboration between choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson and award-winning musician Jamie XX (6-10 January, Darling Harbour Theatre ICC Sydney)
The Wider Earth This theatre puppet show brings to life Charles Darwin’s five-year journey across the planet exploring new species, featuring an award-winning cast by Queensland Theatre and masterfully-built puppets from Dead Puppet Society (17-27 January)
Aquasonic The world’s first underwater band, exclusive to Sydney Festival, using custom-made instruments and techniques inside five giant aquariums (6-9 January, Carriageworks)
Barber Shop Chronicles The critically acclaimed play direct from London’s National Theatre exploring the role of the barber shop in the lives of African men (18-28 January, York Theatre Seymour Centre)
Model Citizens Circus Oz’ new show featuring an all-new ensemble and artistic director Rob Tannion (2-28 January, Circus Oz Big Top, Prince Alfred Square Parramatta)
RIOT Acclaimed Irish variety show with an all-star cast including famed drag queen Panti Bliss, in a blend of dance, drag, circus, comedy and powerful spoken word (Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Meriton Festival Village, 5-28 January)
Briefs: Close Encounters The boylesque stars return to Sydney Festival with a mix of theatre, circus, comedy and drag (Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Meriton Festival Village, 6-28 January)
The Town Hall Affair The Australian premiere of the play which reimagines a raucous 1971 feminist debate featuring Maura Tierney as Germaine Greer, as the New York theatre company Wooster Group perform in Sydney for the first time (7-13 January, Drama Theatre Sydney Opera House)
Jurassic Plastic A large-scale plastic toy landscape by Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji (6-28 January, Sydney Town Hall)
Village Sideshow This year Merriton Festival Village will contain a virtual reality Ghost Train, double-decker Karaoke Carousel, a dancing Glitterbox, swimming pools and more (5-28 January, Hyde Park North, Entry via Hyde Park Central Walkway – closed Mondays. Open 4:30pm till late)